Monday, April 20, 2009


Spring in Kentucky means horse racing!

Yesterday, April 19, Bob and I took our bi-annual trip to Keeneland Race Track in beautiful Lexington.

We usually go to Keeneland once in the spring and once in the fall. This trip was the first time it has poured rain the entire day. Thankfully, we always have reservations for the Lexington Room where we can sit in the window and have a nice lunch while watching the races. We usually meet friends there both times and enjoy watching the races, visiting, eating, and betting on the horses.

That's Bob checking out the racing form in the picture on the right. The one on the left is inside the Lexington Room.

Keeneland was founded in 1935 and is the global leader in Thoroughbred horse auctions and conducts world-class Thoroughbred horse racing every April and October.

The 1st million-dollar yearling in Thoroughbred history, Canadian Bound, was sold in 1976 at Keeneland.

In 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Of the top ten, Keeneland was ranked #1.

We went on Sunday but my girls and their friends all went to Keeneland on Saturday. The weather was wonderful that day and they had the second largest crowd in Keeneland's history.

This past Saturday 33,680 people attended this race track. The record was 33,821 on 4/21/2007.

Lexington is considered "The Horse Capital of the World" with more than 450 beautiful horse farms with either white or black board fences and if you ever fly into Lexington Airport this area is a sight to behold from the air!

The Kentucky Horse Park located in Lexington is the only park in the world dedicated exclusively to horses. The park will host the 2010 World Equestrian Games held for the first time outside of Europe.

Lexington is also home to the famous Red Mile, the 2nd oldest harness track in the world.

Kentucky is home to several other Thoroughbred race tracks and harness racing events.

Of course, the legendary Churchill Downs built in 1874 in Louisville hosts the famous Kentucky Derby every year known as the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports."
We enjoy Keeneland because it is not as big as Churchill Downs and I live about 40 minutes away from Lexington.
We did not win any money this time. I lost about $18 and that was the end of my betting. I don't think you would consider me a gambler! We have won a little in the past but mostly go to enjoy time with friends and enjoy the atmosphere at Keeneland.


Judy said...

Lexinton really is beauteeeeful! I love that photo of the horse ranch. Sp peaceful looking.

This is a very informative entry you posted! Thanks!

There's a song called..."Run For The Roses" Love it.

Love horses!

Sylvia K said...

Another fun and interesting post, Judy! and being a horse lover, I particulary enjoyed all the information. Sounds like a really fun day! I'm glad, we should all have a few of those!!

bobbie said...

Sounds like a lovely way to spend some time!


Judy this brought back memories of my dear mother, she loved horse racing.......started betting at the age of 16 yrs, she only betted small amounts but she loved to watch horse racing on TV. We did once go to the English Derby. Loved your most detailed blog and pleased you had a most enjoyable time.
Thanks for visiting my "world"


Grannyann said...

My grandmother NEVER missed the Kentucky Derby. She loved it. I have only been to Remington Park in Oklahoma City to the races once. Your post was really interesting.

The Muse said...

I love the whole dress up derby hat tradition! Not much of a gambler...I limit 10.00 LOL...
But have nonetheless!

Margaret Cloud said...

Thanks for the information, my husband always watches the Churchill Downs. Sorry you did not win any money, sounds like you had a good time. Thank you for coming by.

Balisha said...

This reminded me of my Mom too. She loved horse racing.Dad used to take her on rides, when she was sick with alzheimer's, to see the horses in the pastures.She loved them till the end of her life. I wouldn't miss watching the Kentucky Derby.I've never been there for a race, but I know what you mean about how beautiful Kentucky is with it's beautiful horse country.

pamwax said...

Brings back memories of my youth in Ohio and visiting Grandma in Kentucky. My Dad loved horse races and one of his fondest memories was his one trip to the Kentucky Derby.

Femin Susan said...

This is a very informative entry you posted! Thanks for sharing..

Rachel said...

Ah, I loved reading this! I have never been to Keeneland, as I'm not crazy about horse racing. I love horses but not the racing them part! I have been to the Horse Park many times. Love it!!

What could be more beautiful than to see Calumet Farm as you fly in to Lexington or drive in!! It's so beautiful!!!

anewwayoflife08 said...

Sounds like a fun day out

Beth said...

So interesting to read about horse racing, Judy! It sounds like a lot of fun and especially nice to be able to watch in such a comfortable place and in the company of good friends and good food. Bob is a very nice-looking fellow, by the way. TN said...

Beautiful Kentucky.....I've never been to horse racing there but I'm sure it is beautiful too. Informative post.

Nancy said...

Lexington is really a beautiful city, and the Horse Park is superb! Glad you enjoyed your day at Keeneland. Around here it is Derby Fever, as I'm sure you know. Thunder over Louisville was last weekend, and it was as grand as ever. On to the balloon race..

grammyof13 said...

Your posts are always so informative. I know your day must be a great one with friends and watching the races from such a nice place.

Jeannie said...

I've actually always wanted to go to Churchill Downs and wear one of the big hats at the Kentucky Derby. Have you ever been?

I don't gamble either, but I love horses (and big hats)!

Hope you had a wonderful time, Judy. Talk to you soon.

Leigh said...

I love this post! Keeneland is one of the prettiest places on earth. It is magical. The cold stone of the buildings and the beautiful green grass in the paddocks. When you walk through the gates, you know you are walking in to history. Some of the greatest racehorses in the world has stepped through that very paddock and on to that gorgeous track. LOVE IT!!


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Judy---I'd love to come to KY sometime and see a horse race. I would love to go to the Derby--but like you said, there are WAY too many people. Keeneland would be perfect. How neat that you got to go!!!!

We are glad to be home.. It was a wonderful trip --just getting to see my son and family. BUT--the weather was horrible. Oh Well!!!!

I'm going to check through some of your older blog posts.

One Woman's Journey said...

Judy, loved reading this. What a great day you experienced. Thanks for sharing.

Lilly said...

Your posts are always so interesting Judy. Do you wear a hat and get all dressed up? Sound slike a very fun day. Bob looks very serious trying to choose a winner too!

Anil P said...

I haven't seen many horse ranches, but I believe they must be peaceful places to be around.

This seemed to be a wonderful day out. Very informative post.

Jamie Dawn said...

That's my kind of gambling. You go to enjoy the fun, not to gamble away rent money. I haven't done much gambling in my life. I've gambled in Vegas and Reno, and it was a lot of fun. My favorite thing was playing Blackjack. I've bet on horses here at the Oaklawn Racetrack in Hot Springs a couple of times. it was a lot of fun. Your day at the racetrack sounds like great fun!!!!

I've seen the Kentucky countryside and those gorgeous horse estates with rolling hills, white fences, and horses grazing. I've not seen them from the air, and I bet that is a great sight to behold.